IT IS a classic story and it inspired a famous film but it’s hard to imagine any production of The Wizard Of Oz with as much heart, courage and brains as this version from the Brighton Little Theatre.
Heart from Leigh Ward whose galvanised rustiness conveys both humour and emotion, courage from Sam McLaughlan in his Lion King status and brains from Joseph Bentley who has them aplenty when not collapsing loose-limbed in a muddle of straw.
Mandy-Jane Jackson manages Dorothy with just the right amount of feisty innocence and a sweetly strong voice for Over The Rainbow.
Mimi Goddard directs an enormous cast of munchkins, flying monkeys, and Kansas folk around a small stage with consummate skill against a clever film backdrop and vintage visual effects in sets designed by Steven Adams.
Gerry Wicks dominates the stage in dual role as Oz and Marvel, poor Frankie Knight inhabits two horrible characters, and Sarah Leedham becomes a luminous fairy. Magic really does happen along this yellow brick road.